Tampa Bay Lightning: 50 Greatest Moments In Franchise History

7 of 51

Jun 6, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Hockey fans arrive before game two of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

45. The Tampa Bay Lightning Move To The Ice Palace

Date: September 1996

After playing their inaugural season at Expo Hall and their second season at the ‘Thunderdome’, now Tropicana Field and the home of the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team, the Tampa Bay Lightning knew that they needed a permanent home to play NHL games. Expo Hall was too small and the Thunderdome was too far away. There was a need for an Arena to be built in the Downtown Tampa area. Thus, the Ice Palace was born.

The city of Tampa paid $86 million and the Tampa Bay Lightning paid $53 million for the venue’s construction and infrastructure. It opened in 1996 and the team’s first game was against the New York Rangers, which the Lightning won by a score of 5–2.

Since it’s opening, the arena has seen many name changes. The naming rights were sold to the St. Pete Times, the local newspaper in the area, and was called the St. Pete Times Forum. From there, the Tampa Bay Times Forum became the new name after the company changed it’s name.

On September 3, 2014, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announced the renaming of the Forum to Amalie Arena after coming to an agreement with Amalie Oil Company, an oil company based in Tampa. That is the current name of this great arena as we all know today.

Amalie Arena is one of the busiest and great arena’s in all of North America, and we as fans are lucky enough to experience a hockey game in this great venue.

Next: Kuuuuuuuuch